Windows XP

Unable to rdp to Windows2008 SBS server from XP client after KB969084 installed

We had an issue when all of a sudden we were not able to remote desktop to a clients SBS 2008 server using the rdp client and the TSGateway functionality. Remote Web Workplace would work fine and so would Windows7 clients.
After proving this patch was the culprit by removing the patch and finding my saved rdp session would work, I went back and read the kbarticle 969084 on this patch. I hadn’t initially read this (in common with a lot of other people) and also because the patch was pushed down via wsus. It turns out that XP does not turn on CredSSP by default and this is needed to work with the new RDP client. I followed the instructions at kb951608 and after a reboot, going to the control box/About I got the message that Network Level Authentication was supported and I was then able to connect succesfully.
MSTSC showing Network Level Authentication Supported
To summarize you need todo the following.

  1. Click Start , click Run , type regedit , and then press ENTER.
  2. In the navigation pane, locate and then click the following registry subkey:
  3. In the details pane, right-click Security Packages , and then click Modify .
  4. In the Value data box, type tspkg . Leave any data that is specific to other SSPs, and then click OK .
  5. In the navigation pane, locate and then click the following registry subkey:
  6. In the details pane, right-click SecurityProviders, and then click Modify .
  7. In the Value data box, type credssp.dll . Leave any data that is specific to other SSPs, and then click OK .
  8. Exit Registry Editor.
  9. Restart the computer.

Nothing happens when clicking on the start menu – fixed.

A while back we had a client that was migrating out of their existing domain and into a new SBS2008 installation. One of the things I learnt (too late) was to disable folder redirection before doing a migration otherwise clients will still point to the old server. Unfortunately I did not have access to the old server/domain but I had got a copy of the redirected folders and thankfully there was no real data on the server to be migrated from the redirected folders.

However to fix the redirected folders I had to use csccmd to remove references to the old server which was easy enough using “csccmd /unpin2:\\oldserver\share /recurse”. I then changed the registry entries in HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ User Shell Folders to point to the new location.  This worked fine for every machine except one.  This particular machine had a very strange symptom in that when clicking on the Start/All Programs button the machine would pause for about 20 seconds and then nothing would happen (to the end user). Behind the scenes the Start Menu, Startup and Programs entries in the registry would get deleted. I tried to use ProcessMon from sysinternals to monitor the registry setting but I either got too much registry information to work out what was going on or nothing at all (depending on the filters I had applied).

Anyway, yesterday I stumbled across Ramesh’s site which mentioned running “regsvr32 /i shell32.dll”. I tried this, clicked on the All programs and nothing happened – again. I rebooted and the problem persisted. I then ran it again and was about to reboot the machine again when the user logged into the machine so I had to stop work (I was doing all this remotely using rdp). I logged into the machine this morning and checked the registry. Somehow the registry items were no longer blank but were repointing back to the original server. I reset them back to the new locations and now the All programs button works as designed. I think the trick was to run regsvr32 and then reboot before clicking on the All programs button. (Either that or reboot twice and then check the registry settings and correct them)

Group Policy preference hurdle.

I’ve been wanting to use the group policy preferences at a couple of sites but been unable to due to the fact that you need to have a Vista or Windows 2008 server in the domain. I knew that one or the other was required, but I was kind of hoping that you could get away with using a Vista machine not on the domain to edit the group policy settings. Much like you can use “connect to” in eventvwr and other mmc consoles I was hoping this feature would be available so I could take my consultants laptop and edit various group policy preferences at some of my sites without needing a domain joined pc. Alas, this is not to be – in fact gpmc is not even available unless you are joined to the domain.
Here’s hoping that some enterprising company will come up with an application that will enable you to deploy group policy preferences without Vista or Windows 2008.

Windows 958644 direct download locations.

I have spent all day patching servers, workstations and trying to find a direct download for the 958644 patch that got released last night. I was amazed when Microsoft even called us to join in a webconference for Microsoft partners about this patch – that is something new.
I was not so pleased when I called PSS to ask for a direct download to the patch as kb958644 does not have direct links, windows update services was timing out and the catalog website is badly broken. PSS informed me that as it was not a hotfix they could not provide me with the file and there was an 8-12 hour delay on callback from the server team. So instead I’ve been configuring wsus for servers (that were not already configured), approving patches and downloading by visiting windows updates – a VERY time consuming.
Anyway, without wasting more time – here are the download locations – I’d grab them before the server falls over too.

Thanks to Larry and Derek for the help in finding these.

Green computing links.

I’ve been thinking about reducing the power consumption of pc’s for clients and have also had some questions directed to me about these settings. Doing a bit of research I’ve come across these useful links. I’ll write a post about my findings when I get around to deploying this in production….

Hyper-V has been released.

If you can’t wait 12 days for it to be released on Windows update, and lets face it, if you are running Windows 2008 you are likely to be an early adopter and keen to get your hands on the final product – you can download it from the Microsoft’s Hyper-v download page. I’d also recommend reading the description of Hyper-V release version- kb950050

When I installed it I shut down all my virtual machines and then ran the install program. You will need to reboot your host windows2008 server. Upon reboot your saved states will have been removed (this is in the readme). When the virtual machines are fired up they will be running the RTM version. Windows will detect new hardware, and as before you just cancel this routine and then go to Action, Insert Integration Services Setup Disk, let the installation proceed and then reboot the virtual machine (again). After this reboot the screen gets reset to 640*480 so this needs to be reset again.

One of the nice things for me is the support of XPsp2 as a guest OS. Previously this worked but there wasn’t an integration service disk available which meant that the keyboard/mouse integration wasn’t as good and I had to keep pressing ctrl alt and the left arrow to release the mouse which gets a pain as it didn’t work on my synergy kvm (I had to use the real keyboard).

The xp upgrade was a bit harder for me. I’d recommend copying the Integration disk to the desktop and then capturing your xpcd – I didn’t and had several disk swaps required – I had to unblock add/remove programs (I’m not sure why it was blocked – but delete HKLM \Software \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion \Policies \Uninstall \NoAddRemovePrograms fixed that. I was then able to remove the virtual machine additions and reboot.Then I had to upgrade the HAL which meant putting the xp disk in the drive and rebooting, then inserting the Integration Services disk (switching back to xp disk mid way for hidusb.sys for the mouse) and then a final reboot. 


Phew – after all that I’m up and running with Hyper-V RTM, 1 client XPsp2, 1 W2k3 DC and 1 w2k3 SSE server.  My next project is probably going to be Windows Deployment Services

Triple boot management

5 if you include the couple of Dell partitions! The Dell pc comes with two hidden partitions – one is the diagnostics partition and the other is the system restore partition so you can get back to factory image if you ever need to. After I had installed Vista on the machine I then attempted to install Windows2008 but the installation process wouldn’t let me proceed as it couldn’t make a new partition due to the limit of 4 primary partitions on a hard disk. I therefore booted back into XP, blew away the Vista partition, created a new extended partition and within that created two drives – one for Vista and one for 2008. A quick reboot off the dvd and Vista was soon installed, then a repeat of the process, this time with Windows2008 and that was installed quickly too – I think Windows 2008 took about 20 minutes.

This evening I was preparing for an adminstrator password change that I need to do tomorrow on a Windows 2000 box so to check everything worked ok I created a new virtual machine in 2008, loaded the Windows 2000 cd and 26 minutes later I had installed Windows 2000 in a vm, rebooted, changed the password using the Offline NT Password cd and rebooted back into Windows 2000 and was able to log back in again. I suspect on old hardware it will take that long just to boot the machine up and change the password and log back in again!

I also really wanted the ability to select the Operating System that the machine would boot into after it was rebooted. The default installation of any OS is going to prompt you for the installation but that isn’t much use when the reboot is happening remotely.  I remember some software I used back in the NT4/2000 days that would do this but couldn’t remember what it was called. That wouldn’t actually help though as the boot structure in Vista and Windows2008 is radically different requiring the use of BCDEdit……  Alternatively EasyBCD could be used to edit the boot configuration. This is well worth downloading as it makes editing the boot configuration much nicer. I was able to use this utility to remove the extra Vista configuration as a result of the dual installations of Vista. What is even better is their iReboot software. Install this on all the OS’s and then you can select which OS to boot with from a Task Notifier icon and restart the machine – just what I needed. (Note this does require .net framework so I had to install this on the new xp installation as it didn’t have it already! Also note that the first result for .net framework 2 comes up with a page can’t be found on Microsoft’s site and the second hit is for the beta version! Use this link instead and don’t forget to check Windows Updates afterwards)

Error 19 on dvd rom drive in windows

One of my clients had a dvd rom drive suddenly start to fail in Windows XP. Device Manager had the error message “information in the registry is incomplete or damaged (Code 19)” Acer’s website didn’t even have a driver for the cdrom so it was off to google. A lot of results for code 19 and cdrom drivers, but the results at Toshiba’s forums provided the answer – delete (or rename) HKLM \ system \ currentcontrolset \ control \ class \ {4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318} \ UpperFilters and LowerFilters and then reboot.
Ironic that I had to use Toshiba’s support for an Acer problem!

Xp upgrade – cd issues

An upgrade to XP wasn’t working this morning with the pc giving various error messages – Setup was unable to verify drive C, Setup cannot copy the file: At this point it had damaged the w2k installation enough that the previous installation would not boot. A chkdsk from the recovery console would just reboot the pc. Booting to BartCD I was able to run defrag and a chkdsk with no problems found. I tried different installation media and still got the same problem. I searched for a BIOS upgrade but couldn’t find anything useful so I then swapped the cd drive itself and it is now working (or at least it is most of the way through the upgrade).